Critics’ Picks

Walls, measure, and words, 2002, steel, plastic, and paper, 35 x 78 x 18 7/8".

Walls, measure, and words, 2002, steel, plastic, and paper, 35 x 78 x 18 7/8".


Harald Klingelhöller

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Rua Dom João de Castro, 210
July 13–October 10, 2007

Repetition, 1993, the sculpture installed at the museum’s entrance, sends the visitor along a path that soon proves less than smooth, reminding viewers that Düsseldorf-based artist Harald Klingelhöller’s works are more than simply cardboard-and-stone agglomerations of the letters in the works’ titles: They examine the complex relationships between language and sculpture, between concept and space, between imagination and reality. This survey exhibition details Klingelhöller’s evolution. Although the sculptures are based on letters, it is actually what they signify that interests the artist; here, words float in the air and letters seem to melt into one another, disappear, and revolve. His new monumental spiral-shaped sculptures are markedly more open and playful; their shapes open up far-reaching perspectives, as with The floor was gray and everybody brings his questions, 2003, though they withhold conceptual clues from the viewer. One of the rectangular wall objects, The sea at ebb tide dreamed, 2006–2007, which provides the exhibition’s name, includes a number of opened drawers, peering into which might cause one’s imagination to run riot. In absorbing this show, viewers may well encounter foreign ideas, but with language and form brought together this sensitively, their introduction won’t disrupt the marvelous, serene tone that prevails.